Wednesday, July 16, 2008

256 Players in MAG FPS, How?

Sony just announced a new game for the Playstation 3 called MAG (Massive Action Game). it supports FPS action for up to 256 players per server. How can they fit 256 players in one (1) server? How can you avoid the lag and still provide a fast paced action first-person shooter? How is that even possible?

Easy.. most FPS games offer 32-player multilayer. So to increase that number to 256, you divide the players into 32 teams of 8 players. now each team (or squad) of players communicate directly with their leader who relays that communication to the main server. Same thing happens when the server talks to the player, through the squad leader. Therefore, the server will only communicate with 32 players but manages to run a smooth game for up to 256.

This is very smart coming from Sony, and I'd like to see how they'll implement it in the game.


  1. 256 players is not a lot. Have you seen MMORPGs?

  2. MMORPGs can tolerate lag. You need at least 30 seconds to kill something. However in FPSs you only need a fraction of a second to snipe someone. And lag becomes an issue then.

  3. there are many new aspects they could implement with a game this size such as parachuting in, multi team fights (4 or more teams) and I also think adding special forces would be good (SAS, Spetsnaz etc.).

    The reason for my special forces idea is that it would be a reason for smaller groups rather than huge armies, and smaller groups would mean that you are still recognized as a player within your little operating force, if it was 2 massive teams or even 4 teams with no small dividing sectors, then I feel the depersonalisation (is that a real word?) would detract from it. I feel less people would enjoy it if not a single person even glimpsed your gamertag or saw your efforts, recognisation seems to play quite a part in games such as COD4 and Halo3.

    Please don't hesitate to disagree with me, but just remember, it is only my opinion.

  4. Planetside seemed to play okay with way more than 256 people.